A Quick Guide to Seasonal Packaging

🎁 Find out if seasonal is the right fit for your brand.

Seasonal packaging can make a significant impact on brands looking to make a strong impression. 

There has been a lot of research surrounding customer engagement and seasonal packaging in the past, and it’s clear that it’s a promotional tool that strongly resonates with customers. 

Well-designed seasonal packaging enables brands to stand out from the rest, offer something a little different, and capture more market share.

Example of seasonal packaging
Source: Packly

However, seasonal packaging is best utilized when a strategy lies behind it. 

If executed correctly, it can really resonate with customers and boost your sales, but if it is not well-thought-out enough, it may alienate customers and drive down your revenue. 

So how do you strike the perfect balance? 

We’ll delve into all things seasonal packaging for this article to help you decide what the best choice is for your brand.

Should I be using seasonal packaging?

Seasonal packaging will vary depending on the product, but there is no doubt that it can positively impact your business. 

Whether it’s B2B or B2C, having some kind of seasonal element will definitely help. 

However, how far you go into themes and how you execute your design will depend on your business and clientele. 

For B2B, seasonal packaging that is more subtle and understated may help with creating a better impression without being too jarring. 

For customer-facing businesses, going with a big and splashy type of seasonal packaging could help elevate the customer experience and make your brand stand out. 

Of course, it’s always helpful to see what others in the market are doing to help you decide whether it’s the right fit for your niche.

The real question tends to entail how to design the best kind of seasonal packaging for your business.

When to use Seasonal Packaging

So once you’ve decided that seasonal packaging is likely a good fit for your business, when do you actually execute this kind of packaging? 

Most businesses tend to fit seasonal packaging around major occasions and holidays, picking and choosing the ones that fit the best with their brand.

Not all holidays may be appropriate or work for your clientele so, making sure the holiday you choose to design your packaging around resonates with your target market. 

For example, if your brand  specializes in winter attire, it wouldn’t make much sense to invest in seasonal packaging for the summer holidays.

Generally, seasonal packaging is designed around the following occasions:

  • Christmas
  • Summer
  • Valentine’s Day
  • Halloween
  • Easter
  • Regional and country-specific holidays
  • Major events
  • Company milestones

Planning for the Occasion

So, how far in advance should you start planning? The sooner the better!

The truth is, seasonal packaging is quite an investment for a business of any size.

It’s important to optimize your choices and make sure you’re not rushing anything from design iterations to testing samples. 

It’s likely your competitors in your niche already had the same idea, so it’s best to plan far ahead and avoid delays and issues as much as you can. 

Example of holiday packaging
Source: Vocal Media

This ensures you have the capacity and time to serve customers with your seasonal packaging. 

The planning process should ideally start 4-6 months before the occasion itself for the design process to go smoothly. 

From our extensive experience, we’ve found the process can take anywhere from 6-8 weeks or 8-12 weeks actually to get packaging in hand. 

However, keep in mind that shipping times may vary closer to holiday seasons like Christmas, so make sure you leave enough leeway for any delays that may occur. 

Again, the experience will very much change depending on how involved businesses are, what the design process is like, material availability, how much testing and prototyping is needed, and the amount of time may change. 

However, we would generally say 6-8 weeks is the average. However, this does not include the time for packaging and distributing your products. 

Calculate with an extra 2 weeks to get your products and packaging ready for launch. 

Asides from time, there are a variety of other factors that could affect seasonal packaging plans. 

Because of the time-sensitive nature of the packaging, it’s important to coordinate logistics and other factors ahead of time to ensure there are no delays and the packaging is released as planned. 

Seasonal Packaging Tips

Neutral language and design: Try to use neutral language on the packaging to reduce the time-sensitivity (i.e., ‘Spring edition’ instead of ‘Easter edition’) to extend the product’s shelf life beyond the day of occasion. 

Structural design: Creating an easy design that does not need additional elements such as wrapping paper and tissue can make it easier for customers to grab-and-go.

Limited edition: Creating collectible and limited edition packaging is a great way to build a loyal customer base, and it’s something you can capitalize on year after year to drive sales.

Marketing and branding: Make sure your packaging is integrated with your branding to ensure your customers can still spot your products on shelf. If you’re rebranding for a season, make sure this is reflected outside of your packaging as well (eg. social media)

Seasonal products with seasonal packaging: If you’re looking to go the extra mile, you can also create seasonal products and editions to go with the packaging to celebrate the occasion.

Cost: Cheap packaging can not only negatively affect your brand, but it could also lead to damage and issues to the product itself down the line. Budget for higher-quality packaging and work with experts to ensure that your seasonal packaging is functional and beautiful.

Sometimes it can be challenging to find the right inspiration for your seasonal packaging.

While everyone will have different tastes and ideas, we can walk you through some ideas for each holiday to help spark your creativity for your unique seasonal packaging!

Cost Effective Alternatives

While it may seem that seasonal packaging is not financially attainable for smaller businesses, there are small, cost effective ways to add to the season of your choice. 

For example, many e-commerce brands opt for on theme tissue paper or promotional inserts to spread some holiday cheer. 

Furthermore, adding simple elements like ribbon to create gift-like packaging for the holiday season can add that seasonal element you need to stand out from competitors on the shelf.

Again, it all depends on your industry niche, but sometimes the smallest investment can bring in an influx of revenue!

Holiday Packaging Ideas

The most popular season for packaging tends to be Christmas, so it can be tough to stand out from competitors. 

example of holiday packaging
Source: The Dieline

While there are always festive color choice options such as red and green, you can also go against the grain by incorporating different colors or adding gold and silver accents to make your designs look less cliche. 

You can also incorporate seasonal imagery into the design to make the Christmas connection clearer.

Get inspired with more holiday packaging design ideas

Designing for the Fall

Halloween tends to be a popular choice for businesses, particularly business-to-customer ones since there is a lot of room to be creative (and spooky!). 

Depending on the type of products your business sells, Halloween can be a fun way to market your business and create interesting seasonal packaging to go with it. 

You can go for different color combinations such as orange, black, purple, and other darker colors. 

It’s also a chance for luxury brands to participate with extravagant and vintage designs coming to the forefront. 

You can also add imagery such as ghosts, pumpkins, zombies, and more. You can choose to go the full spooky route or opt for subtle imagery, so it’s really up to you with this holiday! 

Easter or Spring Packaging? 

Easter is a more challenging design process as it can be hard to come up with ideas without playing into a religious theme too much. 

That’s why it’s easier to go for a design that celebrates the end of winter and the beginning of spring, as that’s more neutral and likely to appeal to a wider audience. 

In addition, happy, cheerful packaging with natural elements and pastel colors are usually very popular during this holiday. 

Designing for Valentines Day

While not always an appropriate option for every business, there are many opportunities to be creative and claim the holiday. 

For example, Hershey’s conquered valentines day with their kisses. A very simple yet effective branding strategy that truly made this brand the face of the holiday. 

While it’s true that chocolate and valentine’s day go hand in hand, it is still a great example of a brand optimizing their branding in their industry niche. 

Valentine’s day tends to be a cheesy one so you could go for bold colors associated with the holiday, such as red and pink, and combine imagery such as hearts, bows, cupids, and more to create distinctive packaging that is on-brand with the occasion.

While seasonal packaging can seem quite daunting, the investment almost always pays for itself.

It’s a great way to refresh your branding and refocus your customers’ attention. 

Think of almost any large brand, they most certainly have holiday, spring and/or valentines day themed packaging. 

It racks in a bunch of sales and enhances your brand presence in the industry.

We can help businesses, small or large, bring the season to life with tailored packaging solutions.

Contact PakFactory today and get your quote for the next big holiday rush! 

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